29 June 2012

Parade Celebrates Veterans of All Eras

During blistering week of 100-plus-degree heat indices, Iowans are preparing not only for next week's Fourth of July festivities, but for a 1.2-mile parade from the Iowa state capitol to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Organizers predict from 1,000 to 2,000 service members and veterans will participate in the Sat., June 30 event, which starts at 10 a.m. and will last for about an hour.

The "Salute to our Veterans and Service Members” parade will honor current and past members of the U.S. armed forces. The Des Moines (Iowa) Register's William Petroski writes:
Gov. Terry Branstad initiated plans for the event after a parade in St. Louis for Iraq war vets drew crowds estimated at nearly 100,000. Similar parades have been held in Tucson, Ariz., and Houston. But Branstad expanded the idea to recognize veterans of past wars, as well as active-duty military members.

The parade will have no grand marshal, but a riderless horse will be at the front, symbolizing Iowa’s fallen warriors who will ride no more. Sixty-five Iowans died in the Iraq war, and 20 others have died in the Afghanistan war. Many more have been wounded. About 15,000 Iowa National Guard members have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and thousands of Iowans have been deployed with other military service branches.
Branstad, who served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971, has occasionally donned his old Class-A uniform during gubernatorial campaigns from 1983-1999, as well as in 2010. News reports indicate he will again wear his uniform at Saturday's parade.

Participants include members of the Iowa Army and Air National Guards, the U.S. Army Reserve, the U.S. Naval Reserve, and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Also participating are veterans service organizations such as Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The parade will include the Iowa National Guard's 34th Army Band, a unit recently profiled on Iowa Public Radio.

“It is important to honor our heroes here at home,” said Branstad in a press release. “As a former member of the Army, and now commander-in-chief of the Iowa National Guard, I am proud of the men and women that represent our state on the battlefields across the world and when disaster strikes here on the home front.”

For information on parking for the parade, visit the Des Moines Register here.

For a PDF map of the parade route, click here.

25 June 2012

Iowa Brigade Welcomes New Command Team

Commanders of Iowa's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division, past and present. From left to right, Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Orr, the adjutant general of the state of Iowa; Col. Ronald Albrecht; Col. Benjamin J. Corell, the outgoing 2-34th BCT commander; Col. Michael G. Amundson, incoming 2-34th BCT commander.

Editor's note: Earlier this month, elements of the Iowa Army National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT) conducted annual training at Camp Ripley, Minn. and Camp Dodge, Iowa. This was the first "normal" annual training since 2009.

At annual training in 2010, some 3,000 citizen-soldiers of the 2-34th BCT prepared for deployment to Eastern Afghanistan. The unit returned in July and August 2011, too late for those soldiers who had deployed to conduct annual training.

The 2-34th BCT often informally calls itself as the "Ryder" brigade, a reference both to its peacetime radio call sign and to World War II division commander Maj. Gen. Charles Wolcott Ryder. Ryder commanded the U.S. 34th Division from May 1942 to July 1944, through operations in the North African and Italian campaigns.

In U.S. Army radio-telephone tradition, the commander of a unit is usually designated by the numeral "six." Hence, the 2-34th BCT commander referring to himself in this article as "Ryder-6."


'Ryder Brigade Welcomes New Command Team'
By Staff Sgt. Chad D. Nelson
2-34th BCT Public Affairs

Iowa Army National Guard

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT), held consecutive "change of command" and "change of responsibility" ceremonies June 18, 2012, during annual training at Camp Ripley, Minn.

Col. Michael G. Amundson took command from Col. Benjamin J. Corell. Command Sgt. Maj. William L. Adams assumed responsibility for the soldiers from Command Sgt. Maj. Joel M. Arnold.

Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Orr takes the brigade colors
from a smiling Col. Benjamin J. Corell,
outgoing 2-34th BCT commander.
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chad D. Nelson
Assisted by Arnold, Corell commanded 2-34th BCT when the unit deployed to Eastern Afghanistan. It was the Iowa National Guard’s largest deployment since World War II.

During a 2005 to 2007 deployment with Minnesota's 1-34th BCT to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Corell and Arnold had also previously served as command team of Iowa's 1st "IRONMAN" Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (1-133rd Inf.), headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa. Arnold was also first-sergeant of Bravo Company , 1-133rd Inf., when Corell commanded the unit on a 2003-2004 peacekeeping rotation to Sinai, Egypt with the Multinational Force and Observers (M.F.O.).

Arnold was recently assigned as the 34th Division's command sergeant major. The unit is headquartered in Rosemount, Minn.

The Camp Ripley event was unique, in that it consisted of both a change of command and a change of responsibility. However, Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Orr, the adjutant general of the state Iowa and previous 2-34th BCT commander, was quick to note how it was a fitting marriage: “It isn’t about individuals, it’s about teams.”

During his speech, Orr commended the outgoing command team of Corell and Arnold. “Your duty performance was just absolutely outstanding,” he said. Orr noted the challenges of moving more than 3,000 troops to Afghanistan, and leading them in the execution of "full-spectrum operations"—everything from training Afghan police to closing with and destroying the enemy.

“You brought that brigade,” he said. “You prepared it, you organized it, you trained it and you led it into combat. You took care of the soldiers, you brought them home and you reset them,” Orr said.

Orr also addressed the capabilities of the incoming command team.

This is a team that has been around awhile; they grew up in the brigade,” Orr said. Amundson, Corell’s “right-hand man,” deployed to Afghanistan as the deputy commanding officer of the brigade. Adams most recently served as the command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry (1-168th Inf.), Council Bluffs, Iowa. During the Afghan deployment, Adams served as command sergeant major for 334th Brigade Support Battalion (334th BSB). Both the 1-168th Inf. and 334th BSB are 2-34th BCT units.

“This brigade is in great hands,” Orr said.

The incoming command team plans to build upon the foundation created by the outgoing team.

Col. Benjamin J. Corell presents a saber to incoming Command
Sgt. Maj. William L. Adams in a "change of responsibility"
ceremony conducted June 18 at Camp Ripley, Minn.
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chad D. Nelson
“[Arnold and I] sat at Bagram Air Base and talked a lot about the things he did to improve the brigade. I will stand before you and tell you those things are going to continue. The standards we lived up to, we’re going to carry on and improve upon,” Adams said.

“[Corell’s] mentorship and guidance over the last two years has been instrumental in my development as an officer and a future commander,” Amundson said.

Arnold also took note of Corell’s guidance and sense of teamwork.

“From the very first time we worked together, Corell said, ‘We are a team; we make it happen together.’”

Arnold also took this opportunity to impart some final words of wisdom.

“The road is now yours ... You’re going to take your own road, but remember: Excellence is contagious and success breeds success.”

During Corell’s remarks, he reflected on the tremendous responsibilities involved in deploying a U.S. National Guard infantry brigade combat team.

“Major muscle movements ... seminars, Leadership Training Programs, individual medical and training requirements, collective training requirements, logistical validations, issuing equipment, Rapid Fielding Initiatives, the list seemed to go on and on,” he said.

After moving 3,000 citizen-soldiers to annual training at Camp Ripley, Minn. in June 2010, to mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in July 2010, to Fort Irwin, Calif. and the National Training Center in September 2010, and to combat in Afghanistan and back, Corell looks back fondly on his command.

“It has been a great ride. It’s time for me to move on. For the last time, ‘Ryder-6, out!’”

21 June 2012

Midwest Living to Bundle Mail to 'Buckeye' Mil-dogs, Handlers

Photo: Spc. Zach Laker, Tactical Explosive Detection Dog ("TEDD") handler assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, gives a command to Sassy, his TEDD, while checking a vehicle at Forward Operating Base Griffin, Faryab province, Afghanistan, Feb. 24, 2012. Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Kimberly Lamb.

This Fourth of July, Midwest Living magazine is encouraging readers of all ages to send messages of support to a group of military dogs and handlers currently deployed to Northern Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The 2,800 men and women of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 37th Brigade Combat Team (37th B.C.T.)—historically called the "Buckeye Brigade"—are the first citizen-soldiers to deploy with military working dogs called “TEDDs.” The acronym stands for “Tactical Explosives Detection Dogs.” Using a variety of techniques, they sniff out bombs while serving overseas.

“Our job is helping to save lives, and being able to do something that machines or people alone can’t do,” says Spc. Devin Cooper, 23, of Columbus, Ohio. “What I like about the assignment is that I always have something to do: When people see my TEDD they always say, ‘I miss my dog back home.’ It’s just good company having him around.”

Published bi-monthly, Midwest Living regularly delivers tips and inspiration on pets, travel, food, home design and gardening. The magazine's editors originally explored the idea of sending "care packages" to the dogs and handlers, but learned that Uncle Sam provides all the doggie gear and food they require.

"This mail project seemed a creative way to recognize and remember our Midwestern citizen-soldiers while they are serving our country overseas," says Executive Editor Trevor Meers. "Focusing on the dogs and their handlers potentially offers people a new way to think about that story—and provides a simple way to act on their patriotic impulses."

Think of it as "mail-call for mil-dogs."

Midwest Living is published by Meredith Corp., Des Moines, Iowa, which also produces Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies Home Journal. Midwest Living reaches approximately 3.4 million readers nationwide.

In the "Discoveries" section of the July/August 2012 issue of Midwest Living, readers are asked to send postcards, letters, and other messages of support to:
Buckeye Brigade
c/o Midwest Living
1716 Locust Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
The 37th BCT, historically known as the “Buckeye” brigade and for its distinctive circular shoulder patch (see right), comprises units from the Michigan and Ohio Army National Guards. In addition to a headquarters based in Columbus, Ohio, these include:
  • 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment (1-125th Inf.) Flint, Mich.
  • 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment (1-148th Inf.), Walbridge, Ohio
  • 1st Squadron,126th Cavalry Regiment (1-126th Cav.), Wyoming, Mich.
  • 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery (1-134th FA), Columbus, Ohio
  • 237th Brigade Support Battalion (237th BSB), Cleveland, Ohio
  • Special Troops Battalion, 37th BCT, Springfield, Ohio
There are 12 dog-and-handler teams deployed throughout the brigade. An Army veterinarian helps the handlers monitor their canine partners’ health. Dogs are carefully issued specific amounts of food each day. Treats are given as reinforcement for jobs well-done. By tradition, the dogs are considered to hold rank one step above their handlers.

Before deploying overseas in January, the teams trained at Vohne Liche Kennels, Inc., Denver, Ind., and in the Arizona’s Mojave desert. “The trainers incorporated stressful combat situations while working you with the dogs, yelling and screaming at you,” laughs Sgt. Anthony Utz, 25, of New Bremen, Ohio. “It was almost like basic training all over again.” Utz is the coordinator for the brigade’s TEDD program.

After the Buckeye units return stateside in fall 2012, the TEDDs will travel to Indiana for retraining and reassignment.

19 June 2012

Movie Review: 'Afghan Luke'

Review: 'Afghan Luke' (2011)

If you like your military-and-media critique to be more dark and brood-humorous than broad and laugh-out-loud, "Afghan Luke" has a story for you.

The film is a buddies-on-the-road movie, one that follows two freelance journalists to Southern Afghanistan. Luke is searching for a story he lost the last time he was there, a potential blockbuster involving the alleged mutilation of Taliban corpses by coalition sharpshooters. In his sights is a Canadian sniper nicknamed after Freddy Krueger, a horror-movie character. Tom, on the other hand, is a drug-addled would-be documentarian in search of the "Burgandy of Hash."

One of the screenwriters, Canadian Patrick Graham, reportedly based some scenes on his real-life experiences as a correspondent in wartime Iraq.

"Tom thinks he's Gonzo," worries main character Luke, "but Afghan Gonzo is out of his league. It's more 'Scarface' than Hunter S. Thompson."

The movie is a mix of surrealism and satire. The vibe is lighter-hearted than "Apocalypse Now" (1979), less theatrical than "The Beast" (1988) and more rooted in everyday military and journalistic realities than "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2007)—although the narrative tone of the latter is certainly similar to that of "Afghan Luke."

Canadian director Mike Clattenburg is known for the "Trailer Park Boys" series of television and movie mockumentaries, and the deadpan delivery of that form is evident throughout "Afghan Luke." The humorous moments feel like found objects.

As a bonus, for both soldiers and journalists, the movie offers a deployment's-worth of quotable quips and koans: "There are no enemies in Afghanistan, only future allies," is a recurring line—to which the central character once responds: "There are no allies in journalism, only future enemies."

After noting that everyone from Alexander the Great to America the Beautiful has dallied there, Luke wonders "why so many armed tourists preferred Afghanistan ..." The fact that the characters are Canadian, rather than American, helps make whatever critique the movie brings more universal, without regard to service or nationality. What's being skewered is not the American-brand of waging war, but modern war in general. And the coverage of it.

The film's moral center is the Latvian aid-worker Elita, who puts a lilting accent on some devastatingly withering lines. For example: "You try to make sense of this place, this place that makes no sense. Afghans do not understand what happens here, but you tourists know."

Luke and Tom stumble from episode to episode, bouncing from a meet-up with caustic American comic Lewis Black (as himself) on a USO tour, to a septic encounter with a foul-named creative plumber from Brooklyn. Along the way, the plot admittedly trades in a few war-worn movie tropes—the misanthropic and mis-speaking Drugpin; the fixer with a heart of gold; the ditzy blond go-go dancer first encountered at the off-base drinking establishment—which are nicely executed, but might have been more at home in a movie about conflicts in Miami, Iraq, or Vietnam.

In terms of scenery, there's plenty of mountains. And moon dust. So much that veterans of Afghanistan will be surprised to learn that the movie was shot not on location in that country, but in Canada.

Like most of everything else at work in "Afghan Luke," that's close enough. Close enough to hit the right targets.

Afghan Luke is available on DVD and in Blu-ray and DVD combo pack.

14 June 2012

Guest-Blogger: 'I Have No War Stories'

Former Eastern Iowa newspaper reporter Dale Kueter is the author of books on Vietnam and personal-history writing. His latest work, "The Smell of the Soil: Writing Your Stories," was reviewed on the Red Bull Rising blog earlier this week.

With each chapter, Kueter tells family stories, while prompting readers to remember and record their own. In the following guest-blog, he has graciously allowed Red Bull Rising to reprint portions of his chapter on military service. In it, he demonstrates how a few short, straight-forward lines might be both treasured by and useful to future generations.

Kueter is a veteran of the Iowa Army National Guard, and served in the 185th Field Artillery Battalion, a unit historically affiliated with the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division.

"The Smell of the Soil" is available as a paperback and in Amazon Kindle format.


Chapter 76: I Have No War Stories
(Write about your military service.)

By Dale Kueter

To be honest, I needed the money. Moreover, I had the time. So in 1959 I joined the Iowa Army National Guard. The Korean War was over and President Eisenhower was in his last year of office without any major conflicts on the horizon. Although Ike was concerned about Vietnam and the prospects that if it fell to Communism, all of Southeast Asia would follow. It was known as the domino theory.

I didn’t know the domino theory any better than I knew the theory of relativity. I was a greenhorn reporter for The Clinton (Iowa) Herald earning $75 a week and doing what my degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism said I ought to be doing. The boss didn’t oppose it, so I joined the Guard.

It entailed a six-year military obligation: six months of active duty and the rest inactive. There would be weekly training (every Tuesday night for several hours) and two weeks during the summer. Clinton had two units of Army artillery, and I landed in “A” Battery. Able to type, I finagled my way to eventually be company clerk.

During basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., I met my lifelong friend, Dick Mailloux, of Fowler, Ind. He was such a good friend that he agreed to a blind date proposition and we could use his car in the process. My motivation was seeing my future wife, Helen, who at that time was enrolled in psychiatric care training at Aurora, Ill. Helen’s role in this weekend drama was to find a blind date for Dick. Jean O’Connor of Kankakee, Ill., was willing. They ended up being married before we were.

I was released from the Army Guard unscathed in early 1965, just as the U.S. became more involved in Vietnam. Dick was called into active duty at one point and served a year before being placed back on reserves. My scare came during the Cuban missile crisis. Early one Saturday morning in October 1962 there was a blaring sound outside our apartment, a man pronouncing something over a loudspeaker.

Helen and I impulsively came to the conclusion we were at war and that I would be on my way to active duty somewhere. We had gone to bed with the Cuba showdown with the Soviet Union on our minds. The loudspeaker blare turned out to be nothing more than a political candidate driving his car through our neighborhood extolling reasons we should vote for him. He must not have had a campaign manager.

My father didn’t serve in the armed forces, and while I never talked to him about it I presumed he escaped World War II because he was married and had a family. And he was 27 in 1941. I found out later he probably wasn’t drafted because he was a farmer. His older brother, Leo and younger brother Harold both served in the military.

Leo, who was married in 1931, was age 30 in 1941. In April 1944, even though he and his wife had six children, Leo was drafted by the Army. Uncle Leo wanted no part of the infantry, so he enlisted in the Navy. (Yes, the Navy had a draft, too.) He served until November 1945. Harold, who turned 15 in 1941, served in the Army after the war.

In 1944, exemptions to military service were given to farmers and those who worked in factories, two areas needed to serve the war effort. Uncle Leo was a bulldozer driver in road construction. Family members said he was told to get a factory job and avoid the draft, but Leo said he didn’t like working inside. Off he went aboard the USS Black Hawk in the north Pacific.

My Uncle Bill Yeager, my mother’s brother, was drafted by the Army in February 1941, before Pearl Harbor. He took basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash., and by October 1942 found himself in North Africa. In July 1943 he was fighting in Sicily and by the end of September was part of the Italian invasion. He ended up in a hospital in Italy in December 1943, reasons unknown.

After he returned home, I remember Uncle Bill sitting under a shade tree at my grandparents’ home in north Bellevue, talking about the war. He was reluctant to say much, but we boy cousins pestered the hell out of him and it seems he showed us a side of his abdomen where a piece of shrapnel had struck him.

That may have been in April 1944 because he returned to the states on April 18th that year. He went back to a hospital in Martinsburg, W.V., and was discharged at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in October of that year.

Bill (Wilford) Ryan, my uncle through marriage to my mother’s youngest sister, Joyce, was drafted by the Marine Corps in February of 1952. He took basic training at Camp Pendleton, CA, and was in Korea by the following October. In the ensuing year, Bill was involved in terrible fighting that caused permanent scars. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received before leaving Korea in late 1953.

He was home for Christmas in 1953, and discharged the following February. In later years, while I was a student at the University of Iowa and then after taking a job in Cedar Rapids in the mid 1960s, I visited Bill as he underwent care at Veterans Hospital in Iowa City. I’m not sure he knew who I was.

12 June 2012

Book Review: 'The Smell of the Soil'

"The Smell of the Soil: Writing Your Stories"

Former Eastern Iowa newspaper reporter Dale Kueter, 74, is author of 2007's "Vietnam Sons," the non-fiction story of how one veteran struggled to reconcile whether his test-firing of a machine gun indirectly resulted in an Iowa friend's death.

More recently, Kueter has written ""The Smell of the Soil: Writing Your Stories" a memoir-by-example through which Kueter expresses the hope that the musings of one man might prove to be a personal history-writing Muse to others.

He pairs each chapter's title with a writing prompt, helpfully engaging readers in easy conversations, posing questions and cues to inspire readers toward their own explorations and revelations. The format is similar to that of a blog, easy to digest in whole or in random parts. This is a book for would-be writers and self-proclaimed non-writers alike.

With a story titled "Finding Marvin's Ring" (Chapter 23), Kueter asks, "Who was your favorite teacher?"

After "Rained out Baseball" (Chapter 63), he prompts: "Write about trips gone awry."

"I have no war stories," Kueter claims in the title of Chapter 76. He then proceeds to deliver a few pages not only about his own experiences in Iowa National Guard, between the U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, but also about the service of other members of his family. The lesson at hand? "Write about your military service."

Kueter joined in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1959, and served until 1965. He was a member of "A" Battery, 185th Field Artillery Battalion (185th F.A.)—a unit then headquartered in Clinton, Iowa. The battalion was historically affiliated with the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division. (Note the "Red Bull" shoulder patch incorporated into the 185 FA's unit crest, at right.)

Stories of service need not be heroic or dramatic, Kueter suggests, to be one day be considered valuable insights into family and history. Consider, for example, how being a citizen-soldier in the 21st century compares with Kueter's description of Cold War duty:
[My service] entailed a six-year military obligation: six months of active duty and the rest inactive. There would be weekly training (every Tuesday night for several hours) and two weeks during the summer. Clinton had two units of Army artillery, and I landed in "A" Battery. Able to type, I finagled my way to eventually be company clerk.
In his book's introduction, Kueter cites as a touchstone Tim O'Brien's "The Things they Carried," a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories regarding the Vietnam War, published in 1990 when O'Brien was 43 years old. Kueter quotes O'Brien:
Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Veterans: Remember your story. Record your story. Tell your story.

"Attack! Attack! Attack!"


Later this week, more of Kueter's chapter on military service will appear as a guest-post on the Red Bull Rising blog.
"The Smell of the Soil" is available as a trade-format paperback and in Amazon Kindle format.

A two-time survivor of colon cancer, Kueter is donating proceeds from the sale of "The Smell of the Soil" to cancer research.

06 June 2012

'Summer Camp' vs. Summer Camping

National Guard soldiers often say "Summer Camp" when they mean "Annual Training."

When I recently posted pictures of my kids' first backyard camping experience, a number of Facebook friends and Red Bull Rising blog-readers compared the new Sherpa-family "King-Dome" to a U.S. Army brigade's Tactical Operations Center ("TOC").

Can't tell the difference between camping for pleasure, and Summer Camp for Uncle Sam? Here are some rules of thumb to help you find your way:
  • If you're carrying a weapon with no bullets, but wearing a bullet-proof vest, you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're locked, loaded, and practically bear-proof, you're camping.
  • If you're wearing a reflective safety belt over camouflage clothing, you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're wearing a mix of bright colors and camouflage clothing, you're hunting.
  • If you're wearing bright colors and mismatched clothing, you're camping.
  • If you're "humping a pack," you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're "backpacking," you're camping.
  • If you're walking with others in a single file, you're camping.
  • If you're walking with others in "Ranger File," you're at Annual Training.
  • If a guy wearing a reflective safety belt is talking to you about safety, you're at Annual Training.
  • If a guy in a Smokey-the-Bear hat is yelling at you and calling you names, you're at Basic Training.
  • If you're sleeping in a building but working in a tent, you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're showering in a building but sleeping in a tent, you're camping.
  • If your tent is air-conditioned but your vehicle is not, you're at Annual Training.
  • If your vehicle is air-conditioned but your tent is not, you're camping.
  • If your camp stove burns "mogas," you're at Annual Training.
  • If your camp stove burns white gas, kerosene, diesel, automotive gas, aviation gas, Stoddard solvent and/or Naphtha, you're camping.
  • If the camp store is "back on cantonment," you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're allowed to purchase beer at the camp store, you're camping.
  • If you're chewing coffee grounds to stay awake, you're at Annual Training.
  • If you're all clustered together around a coffee pot, in an air-conditioned tent, and watching pretty pictures on a big flat-screen, you're at a brigade staff meeting.